RUSSIA and India are declared as co-champions in the FIDE Online Chess Olympiad 2020.
The decision was made by FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich after the champiobship round games between the Russians and Indians were affected by global internet outage.
Two of the Indian players — GM Sarin Nihal and WIM Deshmukh Divya — have been affected and lost connection when the outcome of the match was still unclear.
Nihal was playing GM Andrey Esipenko on board five and Divya was battling WGM Polina Shuvalova on board six when they lost connection.
The two Indian players forfeited on time.
The Online Olympiad Appeals Committee, however, examined all the evidence provided by Chess.com, as well as information gathered from other sources about the internet outage.
The official statement by FIDE president Arkady Dvorkovich:
“Online Chess Olympiad has been impacted by a global internet outage, that severely affected several countries, including India. Two of the Indian players have been affected and lost connection when the outcome of the match was still unclear.
The Appeals Committee has examined all the evidence provided by Chess.com, as well as information gathered from other sources about this internet outage. After being informed of their considerations and in absence of an unanimous decision, and taken into account these unprecedented circumstances, as FIDE President I made the decision to award gold medals to both teams.”
Actually, Russia and India drew all their six games in the first round with GM Ian Nepomniachtchi sharing the point wuth GM Santosh Gujrathi Vidit on board one and GM Vladislav Artemiev halving the point with GM Pentala Harikrishna on board two.
The Russians surged ahead in the second round on victory by GM Aleksandra Goryachkina over World Rapid champion GM Humpy Koneru on board three.
The three other completed matches ended in draws: Nepomniachtchi against former world champion Viswanathan Anand, GM Daniil Dubov against Vidit and GM Alexandra Kosteniuk against GM Dronavalli Harika.
That left the Esipenko-Nihal and Shuvalova-Divya matches.
Chess Federation of Russia president Andrey Filatov congratulated the players for their success in the first-ever online competition by FIDE.
“I congratulate all our players and chess fans on this bright and well-deserved victory in this tough event. Well done by Aleksandra Goryachkina won the decisive game in the final match. I would like to note a very confident play of our juniors, graduates of the “Sirius” educational centre, and thank our coaches,” said Folatov in the official CFR website.
“Team India filed an appeal after the second match. After consideration, FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich made a decision to reward the Indian team with gold medals as well.”
All Indian Chess Federatoon president P.R.Venketrama Raja also congratulated his team.
“Team India has turned out a stellar performance by sharing the Gold Medal at the first ever on-line Chess Olympiad in the revised format. This achievement on par with the formidable Russia made us very happy and every Indian proud,”said Taja in a statement posted on the AICF page.
“This performance is really meaningful because the team consisted of our men, women, junior boys and junior girls thus making it very unique. This result has made our performance at Tromso Olympiad in Norway in 2014 no flash in the pan, where our men team won a bronze medal for the first time in chess history.”